kitparkerfilms

Archive for June 2012

Continued from my previous blog, “Who Was Craig Kennedy?”

 

“Craig Kennedy, Criminologist”

Series Episodes

(in alphabetical order)

 

“*” Denotes this episode is part of the DVD collection sold by VCI Entertainment.  http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/craig/520

Adrian Weiss produced, and screenplay credits are shared by Ande Lamb, Sherman L. Lowe and Al Martin

 

Title/Year/Director

 

1313 HIDDEN LANE ROAD * 1953    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy), Sydney Mason, Mary Adams, Coulter Irwin, Patricia Wright

Craig Kennedy (Donald Woods) finds himself in an uncomfortable position between a gullible matron (Liz Slifer) with a guilt complex, and a racketeering combine with a yen for $200,000 in cash.

 

THE AMATEUR GHOST * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Suzanne Dalbert (Princess Henrietta)|Tom Hubbard (Professor Zachary)|Liz Slifer (Mrs. Anna Collins)|Lane Bradford (Martin Collins)|Stephen Chase (Hemingway)

A photograph of a crusading councilman with two hoodlums threatens his career until Craig Kennedy conducts some experiments in trick photography.

 

THE BIG SHAKEDOWN * 1952    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Sherry Moreland (Janes Winters)|Jack Mulhall (William Kendall)|Bob Curtis (Mike Grady)|Jack Kruschen (Jack Brown)|Tom Hubbard (Dennis Phillips)

A photograph of a crusading councilman with two hoodlums threatens his career until Craig Kennedy conducts some experiments in trick photography.

 

THE CASE OF FLEMING LEWIS * 1952    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Suzanne Dalbert (Mrs. Fleming Lewis)|Tom Hubbard (Norman Lewis)|Lane Bradford (Harvey Lewis)|Stephen Chase (Wallace Lewis)|Jack Mulhall (Fleming Lewis)|Norval Mitchell (Thomas Woodward)

A planned fishing trip turns into a murder mystery when a wealthy chemist, Fleming Lewis (Jack Mulhall), who is host to Craig Kennedy (Donald Woods), Evening Star reporter Walter Jameson (Lewis Wilson) and police Inspector J. J. Burke (Sydney Mason), is killed.

 

DEAD RIGHT 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Pamela Duncan (Abigail Wyndham)|James Guilfoyle (Tris Wyndham)|Karen King (Gertrude Smith)|Michael Road (Gregory Wyndham)|William Justine (Hal Stevens)|Craig Woods (Eddie Finley)

The weakling nephew of a Texas cattleman attempts to kill Craig Kennedy when he is framed for an attempted murder and a consummated robbery.

 

THE FALSE CLAIMANT * 1952    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Trudy Marshall (Alice Woodwine)|Jack Mulhall (James Kelly)|Edna Holland (Mrs. Richards)|Paul Newlan (Dan Sprague)|Tom Hubbard (Floyd Sprague)

An amnesia victim, a gardener who hates flowers and green grass, and a million-dollar art collection are involved in this episode.

 

FILE 1313 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Patricia Wright (Alberta Seward)|Russ Conway (Frank Haines)|William Hreen (Emmett Thacker)|Valerie Vernon (Mrs. Emmett Thacker)|Joseph Rocca (Steve Carter)

Craig Kennedy is slugged as he interrupts two intruders who are rifling the files in his office. Kennedy’s File 1313, dealing with his investigation of an involved electronic device, disappears.

 

FORMULA FOR MURDER * 1952    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Suzanne Dalbert (Jean Rogers)|Stephen Chase (Dr. Armstrong)|Bettie Best (Wilma Gray)|Tom Hubbard (Peter Allen)|Lane Bradford (Tom Workman)|George Pierrone (Jack Priester)

A blond actress and a glamorous brunette both claim the love of a murdered research dietician, but Craig Kennedy brews his own formula for justice when he proves that professed love can be greed and jealousy, and that avarice not only leads to crime, but to poison as well.

 

FUGITIVE MONEY * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Sandra Spence (Edith Mills)|Glase Lohman (Howard Baker)|Phyllis Coates (Natalie Larkin)|William Justine (Olan Harby)|Chuck Lanson (Lane Bradford)|Tom Hubbard (Robert White)

A blonde walks into Craig Kennedy’s office, plunks down $50,000 in cash on his desk, and offers him the whole amount if he will find her fiance. But the money is hot and sought by the police along with the missing boy friend.

 

THE GOLDEN DAGGER 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Dana Wilson (Sandra Whitney)|Glenn Strange (Del Whitney)|Ralph Byrd (Rocky Lane)|Stephen Chase (Carl Benson)

Strange hieroglyphics on a golden dagger provide a motive for murder. Crag Kennedy, called upon to translate the markings on the evil-omened knife, is drawn into a bizarre mystery when a collector of antiques is shot to death.

 

I  HATE MONEY 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Mary Adams (Mrs. Ethel Jardine)|Michael Hale (Emery Jardine)|Tom McKee (Martin Glover)|Coulter Irwin (Denver Bryant)

Craig Kennedy assumes the role of a tramp to probe the mystery of why an old man prefers to live in a hobo’s shack rather than accept a half-million dollar inheritance.

 

INDIAN GIVER * 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Maura Murphy (Ella Randolph)|Edward Clark (Henry Waters)|William Justine (Dan Logan)|Betty Ball (Mrs. Miller)|Barry Brooks (Ben Miller)|Craig Woods (Jay Duncan)

Craig Kennedy, Inspector Burke and reporter Walter Jameson uncover a plot to smuggle a revolutionary steel formula out of the country.

 

THE KID BROTHER 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Richard Beals (Bobby “Butch” Moore)|Gloria Talbot (Della Cameron)|Richard Grant (Ken Moore)|William Justine (Harry Ferris)|Gilbert Frye (Charley Baker)

The cooperation of a youngster and Craig Kennedy’s examination of an apparently innocent letter bring an incipient crime career to a sudden end.

 

THE LATE CORPSE * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Copper Johnson (Trudy Miller)|Lane Bradford (Noel Young)|Alice Rolph (Betty Parker)|Tom Hubbard (Tom Parker)|William Justine (Rex Gordon)

Craig Kennedy’s knowledge of minerals and precious stones uncovers a cruel hoax, which takes Kennedy from a desert in Mexico to a lavish penthouse in an American city.

 

THE LONELY HEARTS CLUB * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Trudy Marshall ( Faith Clay)|Jack Mulhall (Captain Clay)|Edna Holland (Mrs. Patterson)|Milburn Morante (“Barnacle”)|Lane Bradford (Duke Dunlap)|Tom Hubbard (Ray West)

Kennedy and his friend, reporter Walter Jameson, pose as a couple of seafaring men to save an old man from murder, as Kennedy’s skills pay off as he unravels the mystery of a hoodlum who forces the operator of a Lonely Hearts Club to furnish him with a groom for a  brunette beauty.

 

THE MUMMY’S SECRET 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Charlotte Fletcher (Shirley Douglas)|Jack George (“Big Talk”  Watkins)|Jeanne Dean (Helen Logan)|Barry Brooks (Alex Gordon)|Craig Woods (“Dude” Haley)

In a holiday mood, Craig Kenney, Inspector Burke and Walt Jameson  visit a carnival and find mystery, danger and suspense involving a group of weird sideshow mummies.

 

MURDER ON A MILLION 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Charmienne Harker (Ann Waller)|Perry Ivans (Alfred Pomeroy)|Valerie Vernon (Selena Pyke)|William Justine (Robbins)|Fred Kohler Jr. (Steve Callan)|Dennis Moore (Jack Draper)

An elderly inventor falls wounded at the door of Craig Kennedy’s crime laboratory and a short time later, Inspector Burke finds the wounded man’s partner shot to death in his palatial home.

 

MURDER ON STAGE NINE * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Sherry Moreland (Karen Day)|Jack Mulhall (Director Martin)|Nancy Saunders (Margaret White)|Bob Curtis (Producer Wilde)|Ted Adams (Prop Man, Kemp)|Tom Hubbard (Bob Ferrell)|Rod Normond (Thomas Spencer)|Ewing Brown (Extra Electrician)

Murder is performed before the eyes of dozens of witnesses on a Hollywood motion picture set when a killer switches a real gun for a prop gun.

 

MURDER PREFERRED * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Elizabeth Root (Miss Thompson)|William Justine (Johnny Lane)|Erin Selwyn (Loraine Trend)|Tom Hubbard (Frank Trend)|Lane Bradford (Paul Lawson)

Craig Kennedy hears the murder shots as a  gambler makes a phone appeal for help that is too late. Kennedy use his training in psychology to translate some apparently illegible doodlings on a page of a phone book into the thoughts which occupied the mind of the murdered man during his last living moments.

 

THE MYSTERY BULLET 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Helen Chapman (Pamela Hunter)|Bert Arnold (Brad Donlan)|Mara Corday (Mae Gibson)|Robin Morse ( Stony Evans)|Barry Brooks (Jack Gibson)

An ingenious murder device baffles Inspector Burke when a racketeering plumber is shot to death as there are no rifling marks on the death bullet. Time to call Craig Kennedy.

 

THE SECRET WILL 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Trudy Marshall (Mary Hudson)|Edna Holland (Zenobia Bean)|Stanley Waxman (John Turner)|Jack Mulhall (Earl Norden)|Tom Hubbard (Glenn Graham)

A would-be-murderer demands payment for killing a victim, but the victim is still very much alive. Craig Kennedy unravels the mystery of a criminal who hunts his victims with a bow-and-arrow.

 

STRANGE DESTINY * 1951    Harry Fraser

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Sherry Moreland (Elsa Hoffman)|Stanley Waxman (Dr. Preston)|Bob Curtis (Henry Henderson)|Jack Mulhall (Burt Simmons)|Tom Hubbard (Sgt. Jackson)

A phony doctor, a notorious smuggler, and a sultry secretary combine their talents to outwit U. S. Customs officials by the use of a plaster cast.

 

TALL, DARK AND DEAD 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Mara Corday (Greta Varden)|Bert Arnold (Lester Gardner)|Barry Brooks (Jimmy Ankers)|Judd Holdren (Raney Daniels)|Robin Morse (Tom Hendry)

Craig Kennedy investigates the murder of a well-known stage actor, and it gets bizarre when the same actor is later shot at the door of Kennedy’s laboratory.

 

THERE’S MONEY IN IT 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Mary Adams (Mrs. C. Alcott Crockett)|Tom McKee (Mike Savage)|William Green (Jasper Kinney)|Patricia Wright (Mildred Kinney)|Coulter Irwin (Kenneth Crockett)|Gregg Rogers (Earl Rater)

Craig Kennedy, Inspector Burke and reporter Walt Jameson match wits with a clever gang that attempts to pass off some glass beads as the famous Von Anton Diamond Necklace.

 

THE TRAP 1953    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Valerie Vernon (Georgette Benoit)|William Justine (Bill Brand)|Alice Rolph (Mrs. Brand)|Craig Woods (Jack Laird)|Barry Brooks (Harry Carter)

Craig Kennedy poses as a tramp to solve a mystery that centers on a jewel theft and the character weakness of a two-timing wife.

THE VANISHER 1952    Adrian Weiss

Donald Woods (Craig Kennedy)|Sydney Mason (Inspector J.J. Burke)|Lewis Wilson (Walter Jameson)|Mara Corday (Lucille Merrill)|Will Orlean (“Okay” Oliver)|Bert Arnold (Dave Hollis)|Jack Lomas (Roddy Vender)

When a notorious gangster is killed by a rival hoodlum, Craig Kennedy assumes the murdered man’s identity to trap the killer.

 

 

Contact:  kit@kitparker.com

 

I bought the Weiss Global Enterprises film library in 2004, and one of the properties was “Craig Kennedy.”  Who was this character? 

 

While going through some old files I discovered that he was extremely popular in the 1910’s and 20’s as fiction’s first detective to utilize “modern” criminal science, such as analyzing tire tracks, blood types and finger prints.  There were scores of Craig Kennedy short stories and novels, written by Arthur B. Reeve.  Later six movie serials, a feature film, 26 television episodes, and even a comic strip were based on his detective hero.   

 

The Weiss Brothers (Adolph, Max, Louis), owners of Weiss Bros.-Artclass Pictures, were pioneers in low-budget filmmaking.  In 1927 they made two successive deals with Reeve, which gave them renewable options to produce motion pictures and serials based on his published Craig Kennedy stories, along with a commission for Reeve to write a 10 chapter serial tentatively titled “You Can’t Win.”  (Incidentally, the Weiss Bros. were forward-looking enough to include exhibition by “television” into their contracts!)  Two 10-chapter silent serials, “The Mysterious Airman” (1927), and “Police Reporter” (1928), along with their first feature talkie, “Unmasked” (1929), were produced and released by Weiss Bros.-Artclass Pictures on a State’s Rights basis.

 

In 1935 The Weiss Brothers, under the name of Stage and Screen Productions, made another deal with Reeve to produce two serials using the Craig Kennedy stories, “The Clutching Hand” and “The Golden Grave,” and at the same time acquired merchandizing rights, which included fingerprint kits.  “The Clutching Hand” was produced, in conjunction with Charles Mintz, and released in 1936 as “The Amazing Adventures of the Clutching Hand.” (“The Golden Grave” was never made.)   Yakima Canutt received $125 for performing stunts, but most of the actors were paid only between $3.75 and $10 a day.  One of them, Ruth Mix (daughter of Tom Mix), had a good part in the film, but was one of the actors who received only the dismal $3.75.  (Apparently she was happy with it, however, as she wrote Louis Weiss thanking him for hiring her, and asking if he had any more work.) The Weiss’ must have had a great deal of confidence in the forthcoming release of “The Clutching Hand,” because they concluded another deal with Reeve just four days prior to its release.  Reeve died four months later.

Arthur B. Reeve

On June 12, 1944, Stage and Screen bought all rights, in perpetuity, to the Craig Kennedy character, and stories, from the Reeve family, but no other films were ever produced.  Max and Adolph Weiss retired, leaving Louis Weiss, operating under The Louis Weiss Co., with the film library and all other assets, including the rights to Craig Kennedy.  In October of 1944, Louis tried to get a publisher, Novel Selections, Inc. to reprint the stories, but was turned down.  Then he went to the first publisher of the Kennedy stories, Harper and Brothers, who had great success with the stories 20 years earlier, but was told the stories were too antiquated.

                                                                                                Adrian and Louis Weiss ca. 1949

Louis suffered a heart attack in 1948, and his son, Adrian, who had a background in films, joined the firm to relieve some of the pressure off his father and to exploit their library of old films on television.  Television was just starting to take off, and suddenly there was a big demand for old films, particularly produced in the U.S.A.  The major studios were afraid to license their pictures to the new medium because their theatrical exhibitors threatened boycotts.   Louis and Adrian had no such qualms, because they were no longer in the theatrical business.  They knew years before most other producers that television was going to be big, so early on they acquired many feature films, mostly cheap westerns, to augment what they had actually produced.  Because of that demand, Louis and Adrian had the foresight to preserve the negatives of their sound era features and serials, as well and dozens of silent 2-reel comedies Weiss Bros.-Artclass had produced in the late 1920s.  Most of this material survives to this day.

 

In 1949, flush with money from licensing their library to TV stations desperate to fill time slots, Adrian and Louis decided to update the Craig Kennedy character and produce 13 half-hour television episodes to be called, “Craig Kennedy, Criminologist.”  It was a roll of the dice because they self-funded the project, filming in expensive 35mm, for television syndication (sales to individual stations on a market-by-market basis) without any guarantee they’d be able to sell the show. 

 Experts at producing films on the cheap, Adrian and Louis kept the Weiss Bros. tradition of using character actors, and former stars, well beyond their prime.  For the part of Craig Kennedy they hired the Canadian actor, Donald Woods, who had a long list of  credits, but never reached star-status.  (He later went on to perform in scores of television programs).  They also talked some of the talent into deferring income until the shows went into the black.

 

The first 13 shows were picked up in many television markets, where amazingly it hit some home-runs, notably in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and particularly in New Orleans (WDSU-TV), where it got a surprising 50 share (half the people watching television), slightly besting “I Love Lucy” and “Dragnet”.  A second season was produced, which also did well. 

   

 

In 1999, Adrian approached me to buy his entire library, known as Weiss Global Enterprises, which controlled hundreds of films, including the Lippert Pictures library, several independent productions, and the Craig Kennedy stories, but wanted three times it’s actual worth.  Adrian died in 2001, and I purchased the entire Weiss library at a fair price in 2004, from his son and daughter.

Please see my forthcoming blog, “Craig Kennedy, Criminologist,” for descriptions of each episode in the TV series.

Order the TV series on DVD:

http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/craig_kennedy/520

Order Kit Parker Films on DVD:

http://store.vcientertainment.com/products/category/Kit_Parker_Films

Contact:  kit@kitparker.com

A week doesn’t go by that I’m not asked that question.  The answer is “yes,” but it’s still protected by copyright…

  

Before the New Copyright Act of 1976, an author was granted an initial 28 year term of copyright protection, with an additional 28 years upon proper renewal. If a movie wasn’t renewed during its first term of copyright, it went into the public domain.

However, under well-established copyright law, the distribution, sale, and exploitation of a motion picture which has no valid copyright, but derived from a copyrighted novel, play, musical composition, etc., infringes the copyright in and to that underlying copyright.

 

As a kid in the 1950s I collected 8mm and 16mm movies. Most were purchased from Blackhawk Films, which specialized primarily in silent-era films that had fallen into the public domain.  In the 1960s, other companies began following the Blackhawk model of selling “PD” movies, and now included the sound era.  Many of these films had owners who derived their livelihood from, them. (In those days broadcast television was virtually the only outlet for old pictures, but the film “syndication” business was very lucrative because virtually every station aired at least some movies, and the number available was finite.)

Adrian Weiss, a producer-distributor, and member of a pioneering motion picture family, had a large library of films, many of which were in the public domain. He told me that before the mid 1960s, the established distributors of films to TV were “gentlemen,” and they respected ownership rights, regardless of the lack of enforceable copyrights.

The first time I recall an issue about the use of movies in the public domain was in the late 1960s/early 1970s, when someone at a PBS station realized that the copyright to Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Liberty-RKO/1946) was not renewed.  Soon after, the Christmas perennial started receiving wide exposure on PBS stations throughout the country during December “pledge nights.” The movie’s owner of record, National Telefilm Associates (NTA), protested, and eventually PBS backed down.

At the same time entrepreneurs realized they could make copies of public domain movies on 8mm and 16mm and sell them to collectors, broadcast TV, cable stations that proliferated in the 1970s, and so on. The exploitation of public domain films built up steam, and the practice continues to this day, particularly on the Internet. In 1992, NTA, then known as Republic Pictures, took an aggressive enforcement stance against sellers of the film, and had a great deal of success stopping infringers. Paramount is the present owner of Republic Pictures, and therefore “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

In the early days of Kit Parker Films I could only afford to buy public domain films for my rental library. One was “A Walk in the Sun” (Superior-20th Century-Fox). In 1975 I received a cease and desist letter from John Ettlinger, President of Medallion TV Enterprises, claiming he owned the movie and I was violating copyrights controlled by him. I told him that the movie was in the public domain. He responded that it was a moot point because he also controlled the exclusive motion picture rights to the copyrighted novel in which the movie is based, along with the copyrights to the musical compositions (which played throughout well over half the movie). His logic was it was impossible to show the movie without violating the copyrights to both the novel and music. I argued with him, but ultimately relented, and paid him a royalty in order to keep the film in my library. A couple of years later, when I got over my self-righteousness, I realized he was correct, and my position that he was wrong was just wishful thinking.

When VHS tapes came out there was a proliferation of companies selling public domain movies. By and large, the individuals involved in this business had little or no knowledge of the intricacies of Copyright Law, and saw movies as strictly a commodity – no different than a pair of shoes — and, of particular concern to me, didn’t care at all about picture and sound quality.

John Ettlinger was very aggressive in stopping infringers. He had deep pockets (told me he was an heir to the Hertz fortune), and did not hesitate filing lawsuits against what he called “bottom feeders.” He was able to extract back-royalties, and those that made the mistake of fighting him ended up paying back royalties and legal fees.

In the early 1990s, Ettlinger passed away, his library was sold, and later changed hands a few times. When DVD’s came out, a company unaware of Ettlinger’s previous legal and financial victories, released “A Walk in the Sun.” When no lawsuits materialized many other “bottom feeders” followed. Unlike Ettlinger, the new owners of the Medallion library did not have the wherewithal to effectively fight off violators, so enforcement of the underlying rights to the movie was only lackluster. (Ironically, although Ettlinger held the torch for the rights of literary authors when it suited his purpose, but fought against them when it came to paying residuals.)

Although ignorance of the law is no excuse, my goal is usually not to punish those who unknowingly violate my properties that are protected by copyright, but to simply get them to stop. To those that cooperate (most do), I return the favor. Those that don’t, I don’t.

Sometimes I receive responses telling me the film is in the public domain, and any facts I offer to the contrary are bogus.  I ask them if they are so sure, why aren’t they selling “It’s a Wonderful Life”?

I’m often asked to prove my claim by sending all of the documentation going back to the original Bronston deal.  I tell them the matter, and the documents related thereto, are part of the public record at the Copyright Office in WashingtonDC, and for them to hire a professional, or go there.  After that, some tell me where to go.

By the way, www.copyrightoffice.gov can be helpful, but it is not infallible.

 

Here is some background on how “A Walk in the Sun” came to be in the first place:

In 1943 Knopf Publishers made a deal with a U.S. Army Sergeant, Harry McNab Brown, to write a novel titled “A Walk in the Sun,” which was published the following year to critical acclaim. Brown was an exceptional writer of fiction, which is how he was able to make a deal on an as yet unwritten book. Producer Samuel Bronston’s Comstock Productions, purchased all motion picture rights to the novel from Brown, with a plan of having it directed by Lewis Milestone, and released through United Artists.  Bronston fell into financial difficulties.

Milestone’s Superior Productions, took the project over, produced the movie, and granted 20th Century-Fox a seven-year distribution deal.  Still, the movie was foreclosed on by the Walter E. Heller Co./Ideal Factoring Co., major financers of “A Walk in the Sun,” and countless other movies. Heller retained Medallion TV Enterprises as its sales agent. Later on, Medallion bought all of Heller’s rights. I purchased the entire Medallion library, including “A Walk in the Sun,” in 2008, and continue to take an aggressive stance against those who infringe any of the copyrights owned or controlled by me.

I licensed VCI Entertainment the exclusive DVD rights to “A Walk in the Sun.” Their version is un-cut, restored from original film elements, and features a great interview with Norman Lloyd (Private Archimbeau in the film), and “The Men of ‘A Walk in the Sun’,” a documentary produced by Joel Blumberg.

http://store.vcientertainment.com/product/walk_in_the_sun/570

Contact: kit@kitparker.com

© 2012 Kit Parker Holdings LLC


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